Catamenia - Location:COLD review
|Release date:||September 2006|
01. Tribe Of Eternity
02. Gallery Of Fear
04. Tuhat Vuotta
05. Closed Gates Of Hope
06. Zero Gravity
08. The Day When The Sun Faded Away
09. Expect No Mercy
10. I Wanna Be Somebody [W.A.S.P. cover]
When first looking into Catamenia, I expected another run of the mill "Extreme Power Metal" bands that seem to be popping up everywhere lately, especially coming out of Finland, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
Everything about the album fits together perfectly; the completely original cover art of some vicious looking wolves with a cold looking midnight background, and the title "Location: COLD" both fit the vicious, cold, yet at the same time heroic sounding music.
Unlike a lot of keyboard involved metal, the keyboards are not prominent and on top of the other instruments, instead they lie underneath the guitars, creating a more atmospheric feel until the breaks when they pretty much stand alone (or on some intros); this makes the music sound like its being played by one cohesive unit rather than a bunch of musicians trying to get time in the spotlight. The vocals are also what makes this album stand out for me; the growls are very vicious and consistent, balanced out with parts of songs with clean vocals, which tend to sound a little cheesy at times but are still a good addition to the music. The vocals reach their most memorable moment in "Closed Gates Of Hope" when the harsh screams and the clean vocals are layered together, creating a beautiful sound.
Also, do not let the bands title of "Black Metal" fool you, this album is far from conventional black metal, the guitars have there own unmistakable sound that seems to take black metal speed and fuse it with both thrash & power metal sounding riffs. In fact no songs have a purely black metal sound throughout the entire track, making it hard to get bored of this album. For example, the title track has perfectly executed transitions from an epic power metal type sound which suddenly drops into a fast-as-hell black metal song with blast beats and all. The track "The Day When The Sun Faded Away" is probably the album's climax musically, every instrument's individual riffs seem to both stand out yet flow together perfectly at the same time. As icing on the cake, the closing track on the album is a frantic cover of the W.A.S.P. song "I Wanna Be Somebody" which seems to be tailor made for this band.
I only have two notable problems with this album. The first is simply that the recording quality on the vocals is inconsistent; in some parts the vocals are perfectly balanced with the rest of the music but at other times it seems like the vocals are being drowned out, and not in a fade-out effect either, just as if someone accidentally set the volume on the vocal mic a few notches too low. The second problem is that by the end of the album it seems they ran out of ideas, they start to repeat themselves. I have owned this album for about 2 or 3 months and have listened to it at least once a week and I still have a hard time telling certain songs apart.
Overall this is a fantastic album from a greatly underrated band, and after an album like this it's a crime they aren't more widely acknowledged throughout the metal community.
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